The Art of Yarn Bombing

It has been a month since Knitteapolis wrote on Instagram about a yarn bomb that had been torn down literally right after she installed it. It had said “don’t worry – be happy” and here is some of what knitteapolis wrote thereafter:

… you never know how long a piece will last. This one got to me though. It hadn’t been cut down nicely so that the fence was the way it was before I showed up. The piece itself was torn up and stripped apart. Zip ties were still clinging to pieces of yarn that hung from the fence as well as a huge chunk of yarn just lying on the ground next to some broken zip ties. Essentially they turned what was a piece of art into trash hanging on a chain-link fence. Even when sad though I take responsibility for my work so I stopped and cut down what was left of my piece and took it to the trash. (…). But this will not stop me from yarnbombing.

Some people love yarn bombing – others obviously don’t. Some people think it is art, it is creative, it triggers everyone’s inspiration. Others think it is a waste of yarn, time, and talent.

What ever you think is true – doesn’t it hurt to see something knitted by hand torn into pieces? Here is what I discovered a few days ago in front of a church in Berlin Schöneberg:

Yarn Bombing HäkelmonsterSo beautiful it made me smile until I saw the reverse side of some of those bollards …

Yarn Bombing HäkelmonsterThey were cut, burnt, tattered.

Yarn Bombing HäkelmonsterLast week, I went back to take some more pictures only to see that someone had taken them all off.

Even though it wasn’t my yarn bombing – knitteapolis’ Instagram post was right back on my mind and I thought I’d share. What’s your opinion on yarn in public and has something like this ever happened to your work?

Yarn Bombing HäkelmonsterWhen we moved, I had decorated the lamp pole in front of our new home with a “flower field”, a “street sign” and several other graffitis. Every now and then I would redo things but there would always be something on that lamp pole. Until last summer, when someone ripped it apart and just like knitteapolis I had to cut down what was left. It felt awkward doing so.

HomeMaybe now is the time to make something new!

3 thoughts on “The Art of Yarn Bombing

  1. I like to see yarn bombing, and other street art. If the owner of the fence wanted it down, they could have cut the zip ties, not the work. Yarn bombing is by nature temporary, and easily taken down when it is no longer pretty. I don’t understand the need some have to destroy work. But maybe others don’t; understand the need for yarnbombing, and don’t find it bright and cheerful like I do.

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  2. It’s interesting, in my opinion, if it’s a work placed in public – on property held commonly by the municipality/city/state – that’s an acceptable and even welcome location as yarn bombing doesn’t do any damage (unlike most painted work). However, if the work is done on private property – the fence belonging to someone’s private home – I can see where the owner might be angry that someone did unsolicited artwork and not much care about how they chose to remove it. Either way, this is the risk one takes making public art, enough to look at how public architecture, gardens/plantings and commissioned public artworks are often treated/abused.

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  3. I think, for some reason, there are people who feel the need to mock or destroy someone else’s hard work because they feel incapable of making something like it on their own. Instead of putting their efforts into helping brighten the world around them, they choose to destroy the beauty because it makes them feel more powerful than the person who created it. Like they are saying, ” What you’ve done isn’t so great. I was able to destroy it.” And that just makes me sad, for the person who’s work gets destroyed and for the person who felt so terrible about themself they needed to destroy it.

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